By George Griffin, SBTDC/PTAC Counselor at NC A&T State University
Carolina Guardrail, started in 2012, is a Woman-owned Small Business (WOSB) offering a variety of materials for installations, removal or repair of guardrail and guide rail, which can be applied in various applications. The owner, Carri Perkins, feels she is an industry veteran because she has been around this type of business for over 25 years.
Carolina Guardrail services North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. They participate in residential, municipalities, highway and commercial projects as well as State and Federal projects.
In late February 2014 Carri Perkins visited her PTAC counselor to discuss plans to buy out the majority partner and become sole owner of Carolina Guardrail. Carri was concerned how the transfer would impact existing and future state contracts.
The PTAC counselor researched the question before advising that client fulfill contracts awarded before the sale and immediately apply for her DBE certification. This gap should be minimized since Carolina Guardrail will not be able to receive DBE contracts during this period.
Carri began to review process of obtaining her NCDOT DBE and NC HUB certifications with her PTAC counselor. This information was used to help determine the closing date for the business sale.
Carri Perkins purchased the majority interest in Carolina Guardrail in the middle of March.
Carri contacted customers to make them aware of change in ownership and that they were no longer DBE or NC HUB certified but hoped to be re-certified very soon. The response was positive and customers were all very accommodating. Timely communication and strong past performance can never be over emphasized.
With Carri’s preparation the certifications came quickly. Carolina Guardrail was once again diversified competing in the private and government markets.
Carolina Guardrail believes with their customers, highly skilled crew members, a project manager and foreman whom have been working together for over 35 years they are now ready for the challenges of the future!